Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP has highlighted the continuing underrepresentation of ethnic minorities in top teaching posts, with new figures indicating that there are only a handful of BAME ethnic minority head teachers or depute heads across the whole of Scotland.
He also stressed the need to attract more people to the teaching profession and pay careful attention to diversity as part of this process.
The statistics are shown in Scottish Government data and backed up by Scottish Liberal Democrat freedom of information requests to local authorities. Among the 19 councils which provided a breakdown to the party, there were only 2 BAME head teachers and 2 BAME deputy head teachers in the whole of Scotland.
“These figures indicate that only a handful of top teachers in the entire of Scotland are from a BAME background
"There are in the region of 1700 primary school head teachers and 350 secondary heads. The Scottish Government needs to understand why there aren't then dozens of heads from a BAME background.
"Our outlook on life is shaped during our school years. The lack of BAME role models in schools, and the longstanding lack of diversity amongst teaching staff, is therefore concerning.
“There’s a broader need to attract more people to the teaching profession and to lighten the burdensome workload and bureaucracy that’s repelling teachers and prospective teachers at a rate of knots. In the process of boosting the profession and addressing the vacancies that exist across Scotland, there needs to be an emphasis on improving diversity at all levels of teaching, but particularly among school leaders."